LaSalle Investment Strategy Annual Says Asia Pacific Real Estate is Well-Positioned in 2017

HONG KONG (March 02, 2017) — LaSalle Investment Management is cautiously optimistic on the economic backdrop in Asia Pacific which is generally supportive of real estate market fundamentals, structural shifts in Europe and North America notwithstanding.

Region’s real estate investment backdrop expected to remain attractive against global winds of change

LaSalle Investment Management is cautiously optimistic on the economic backdrop in Asia Pacific which is generally supportive of real estate market fundamentals, structural shifts in Europe and North America notwithstanding.

According to the firm’s Investment Strategy Annual (ISA) 2017, the rise of core capital, the continued growth of intra-regional tourism and trade, increasing infrastructure spending as a form of fiscal stimulus, and the shift from export-driven economies to domestic consumption provide ample real estate investment opportunities across the risk-return spectrum for investors to capitalize on.

Jacques Gordon, Global Head of Research and Strategy at LaSalle, said: “The winds of change will be blowing throughout the world economy and the US in 2017. Headwinds and tailwinds can both be expected, along with market turbulence. While structural changes will likely define the outlook for specific strategies in the U.S., real estate performance in most cases will be driven by secular shifts.”

“The ISA’s best investment recommendations are aligned with the demographic, technology, urbanization, and environment (DTU+E) secular investment trends. Although some of these opportunities have become fully-priced, there is still value in portfolios that focus on the evolution of these long-term trends,” he added.

The ISA indicates that in addition to Trump-induced volatility, there are other threats to financial market stability still to be navigated. The growth of China remains a key growth driver but also a risk in the region. The report suggests that the immediate threat of a China hard landing is low. LaSalle believes that the global ripple effect of China’s debt challenge in the next few years remains a low-probability event, as China’s debt is mostly domestic and supported by high national savings rates.

Elysia Tse, Head of Research and Strategy – Asia Pacific at LaSalle, said: “The Asia Pacific region remains strong, relative to the rest of the world. This does not mean the structural shifts rocking the UK, Europe and the US do not have implications on the regional economy and real estate markets across Asia Pacific. The events are still unravelling by the day, the impact of which is still being felt. There is ample liquidity in the region. If more volatility or uncertainties arise in other parts of the world, Asia Pacific’s relatively stable collection of nation states should be viewed favorably by international investors. If capital markets become highly volatile for an extended period of time, Asia Pacific real estate would not be fully insulated. However, there could be opportunities to bridge funding gaps through debt or equity strategies.”

“Asia Pacific real estate markets have different lengths of cycles and are currently at diverse stages of the cycle. This unique diversity offers a range of opportunities for investment and the ability to diversify risk at any point of time. For low-risk investors, stability of income remains the focus in 2017. In particular, Japan and Australia continue to be safe havens for core investors due to their strong property rights and healthy yield spreads. For higher risk investors, the secular trend of the rise of core capital is expected to create exit options for ‘value-add to core’ and ‘build to core’ strategies,” Tse added.

The report also indicates that borrowing costs are expected to remain low by their historical standards in the region over the near to medium term. Spreads between real estate yields and risk free rates remain relatively wide in Asia Pacific. A significant yield expansion is unlikely, as wide yield spreads can absorb some interest rate increases (if any). This will keep the return profile of real estate assets attractive relative to other asset classes.

Investment themes:

  • Capitalize on intra-regional business and leisure travel: The long-term growth of intra-regional business and leisure travel is anticipated to enhance returns in select urban retail, hotel and mixed-use properties in Asia Pacific.
  • Capitalize on new infrastructure locations: Key Asia Pacific economies are expected to use both monetary and fiscal stimuli to support growth. The increasing infrastructure spending as a form of fiscal stimulus offers investors opportunities to capitalize on real estate projects near new infrastructure locations, such as in Sydney and Singapore.
  • Logistics: LaSalle continues to favor logistics in the region, driven by the sector’s relatively high yields, the rise of e-commerce and a shortage of modern logistics space.
  • Retail: Neighborhood and sub-regional retail assets in strong catchments focused on non-discretionary spending for both core and repositioning opportunities.
  • Office: Major regional office markets are currently at different stages of the rental cycle. LaSalle advises higher return investors to focus on active management strategies and repositioning in this current cycle to improve riskadjusted
  • returns.
  • Apartments: Following LaSalle’s DTU+E secular themes, rental apartments in urban areas, particularly in Japan, offer investors attractive relative values with excellent long-term fundamentals. Singapore serviced apartments can capture not only DTU+E secular trends, but also the structural change due to government zoning.

Globally, the ISA finds that real estate returns will vary depending on the vintage of assets held. For assets already owned, improving economic fundamentals will boost performance. At the same time, returns on new core investments will be hard-pressed to repeat those of recent years as elevated levels of liquidity have pushed prices up to levels where newinvestors with fresh capital will need to accept low returns by historical standards.

About LaSalle Investment Management 
LaSalle Investment Management is one of the world's leading real estate investment managers. On a global basis, we manage approximately $77 billion of assets in private equity, debt and public real estate investments as of Q4 2021. The firm sponsors a complete range of investment vehicles including open- and closed-end funds, separate accounts and indirect investments. Our diverse client base includes public and private pension funds, insurance companies, governments, corporations, endowments and private individuals from across the globe. For more information please visit and LinkedIn.

NOTE: This information discussed above is based on the market analysis and expectations of LaSalle and should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding LaSalle funds or any issuer or security in particular. The information presented herein is for illustrative and educational purposes and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law or where contrary to local law or regulation. Any such offer to invest, if made, will only be made to certain qualified investors by means of a private placement memorandum or applicable offering document and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Past performance is not indicative of future results, nor should any statements herein be construed as a prediction or guarantee of future results.

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